“In London, you never know your own neighbours”, thunders one of the protagonists of this psychological thriller directed by acclaimed British playwright and theatre director David Farr. And that unsettling information infiltrates every second of The Ones Below, keeping you glued to your seat all throughout the movie because, quite literally, you never quite know what may happen next.
Kate (Clemence Poesy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) are a happily married couple expecting their first baby. They live on the first floor of a north London building overlooking their neighbour’s messy garden. When the owner of the apartment downstairs passes away, the flat is sold in no time. As the renovation works are completed and the garden beautifully manicured, Kate is impatient to find out who the new owners are.
One day, Kate finally notices two pairs of shoes neatly positioned outside the downstairs flat and, before she can ring the doorbell, Teresa (Laura Birn) bursts out and overwhelms her with her massive bump and her bubbly and imposing personality. The two pregnant ladies couldn’t be more different; Teresa’s approach to her impending maternity is joyful, confident, sexy. Kate, on the other hand, is full of doubts and unsure whether she’s ready to become a mother.
The two ladies begin to form a bond and organize a dinner party with their husbands. As Teresa’s husband Jon (David Morrissey) and Justin have nothing in common, dinner turns out to be far from pleasant, ending with a life changing accident.
The Ones Below is a beautifully shot, intimate movie with a perfectly paced narrative and strong and minimalist dialogues that move the story forward unpredictably.
With outstanding performances by David Morrisey, Clemence Poesy, Laura Birn and Stephen Campbell Moore, David Farr’s debut feature film is an unnerving psychological thriller, which is simply hauntingly disturbing and addictive. I loved The Ones Below so much I can’t help but describe it as a must see, hair-raising masterpiece.
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